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Corsair H115i Review

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Corsair H115i Testing:

Validating the performance characteristics of the Corsair H115i will consist of installing this latest version of Corsair's Hydro series lineup in a chassis and putting it to work cooling down an 8-core Intel Extreme Series processor. Creating the load will consist of using LinX Version 0.6.5 using the maximum problem size and monitoring the maximum temperatures induced using Real Temp version 3.70. LinX will be run through a 10 test run that takes in excess of an hour to run. The cool down period will consist of idling on the desktop for 30 minutes to bring the processor to its lowest average temperature. These tests are run twice and the results averaged. I will run the CPU both at its default speed of 3.5GHz and then overclocked to 4.2GHz to compare the thermal results. I will be using the H115i without Corsair's Link software installed for the testing to see what the end user who chooses to forego an added utility can expect for thermal performance.

Testing Setup: Intel Socket 2011 V-3

  • Processors: Intel Core i7 5960X @ 3.5GHz & 4.2GHz
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H115i
  • Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth X99
  • Memory: Corsair Dominator 4 4x16GB 3200MHz
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000X
  • Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB SATA 3
  • Case: Corsair 780T (yellow)
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

 

Results:

 

Corsair H115i Conclusion:

Having looked at a pretty broad cross section of Corsair's Hydro Series line up over the past few years gives me an opportunity to see the growth and changes that Corsair has implemented to its All-in-One cooling solutions. As technology has progressed, so have the pump and control systems used to maximize the performance potential of Corsair's designs. The Hydro Series H115i does not re-invent the wheel, as it were, but what it does do is provide a cooling solution for even Intel's latest Extreme series processors like the Core i7 5960X.

If you run the H115i without using Corsair's Link software tools, the cooler seems to run in the Balanced Mode. In this mode, you get a good balance of pump and fan speed to deliver results in the 73 °C range on a Core i7 5960X running at 3.5GHz. Cranking the clock speed up to 4.2GHz drives the temperatures up another 17 °C, putting the thermal results right in the 90 °C range under load. Not bad when you look at the load the H115i is discharging.

Cranking up Corsair's Link software gives you added reporting and the ability to use three existing cooling profiles (Performance, Balanced, or Quiet) or modify the fan speeds to work with your own specific speed curve. With baseline results showing promise, you can improve on the cooling by using the Performance profile. This profile bumps the speed up to around 1860RPM on the pair of SP140L fans and 2880RPM on the pump to add cooling performance to the equation. Bumping up to the Performance profile does add some noise, but not to the level that it becomes annoying. Conversely, you can use the Quiet profile and reduce the noise commitment to near zero at the expense of cooling performance. The key here is that there are options with the H115i.

Many will still bring up the mixed metal argument when using an aluminum radiator and copper cooling plate, but it really has not been an issue for several of the Hydro Series H100 coolers I still have in circulation in my systems. By using proprietary cooling fluids, Corsair mitigates this risk and even offers a five-year warranty to put its money where its mouth is. Corsair has put together an easy-to-use mounting system that works equally well with AMD and Intel-based systems with the hardware included to cover all current socket packages from the two companies.

Currently priced at $125, the Corsair Hydro Series H115i is competitive on price while delivering excellent thermal results.

Pros:

  • Large radiator
  • New pump and cooling plate
  • Braided covering on tubing
  • Corsair Link integration
  • Cooling performance
  • Fan noise and profiles

Cons:

  • 280mm radiator needs a capable chassis
OCC Gold



  1. Corsair H115i: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Corsair H115i: Specifications & Features
  3. Corsair H115i Testing: Setup & Results
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